My infrequent blogging creates a backlog of things I want to share with you, and then comes the task of grouping some of those things together into one post in an attempt to catch up. Zero waste seems like a good place to start.
I really, really dig the concept of zero waste! The idea that nothing is wasted while making something new is super-cool. Soy jersey is probably the softest and most luxurious fabric I've ever laid hands on, and it happens to make full use of the soy plant. (Technically I wouldn't say closed loop and zero waste are the same, but they both apply to soy fabric production.) Zero waste can apply to clothing design, too. This gentleman has certainly made waves in his pursuit of zero-waste fashion by designing zero-waste garments, and this lady is refashioning straight from the fast fashion sale racks.
Appreciating zero waste means I have a few bags and piles of fabric scraps and remnants. My sewing room looks like a pit at the moment for lots of reasons (too much travel, not enough sewing, too many friends/ family members cleaning out their closets and forwarding perfectly usable castoffs, my deep love of a good challenge, I keep lots of scraps because I like zero waste), so I watched the entire first season of Hoarders and concluded that I'm messy, but not a hoarder.
I sewed a few bags, to get rid of some of the larger scraps and remnants. There is always a need for bags in my house, between the shopping and sewing meetups and hauling food to PTA meetings and my sister and niece, who are always ready to claim a new tote as soon as it rolls off the back of the presser foot! I'm happy to report that I had no emotional issues using the fabric and giving the bags away. The bag on the left was made with parts of khakis left over from the Austin Museum of Art khaki dress, the bag in the middle used a printed home dec remnant and the bottom of a bedskirt that my nephew didn't want, and the bag on the right was just scrap cotton print and scrap denim:
Then I turned to the pile of knit scraps. My 7-year-old needs long sleeved t-shirts. Correction: he needed them for the two weeks of fall-like weather we had last month, and since has lived in short sleeved tees and shorts in the lingering heat. But I bet he will need those long sleeved t-shirts at least by Christmas. So I snagged a stack of brand new t-shirts my dad gave me last summer -- some promotional t-shirts and some plain ol' men's cotton tees -- and using a pattern made from a traced tee in my son's drawer, cranked out a couple of new long sleeved shirts.
The first (all black tee) was a quick cut-up and small-izing of a men's long sleeved tee, keeping the ribbing at the neckline and wrists. The second tee was a little more challenging, because I used a black promo tee with a logo so prominent that I couldn't cut an entire new shirt front from the existing shirt front. So I grabbed some red knit from my scrap pile, leftover from a previous t-shirt project, and used it for the top of the new tee. And because the original tee had short sleeves, I used the red and some other black knit scraps to cobble together long sleeves. I didn't think I'd like the shirt while I was putting it together, but I kind of do now.
Totally unrelated to hoarding and the sad state of my sewing room, but related to my 15+ year crush on Kenneth Branagh and my love of all things Scandinavian, is the PBS series Wallander. All three of the new episodes have aired on PBS but they are available to watch online till mid-November. See them! Love them! They are excellent and the bullies meet their right fates. ;)
Love all of the "zero waste" projects, especially the red and black tee for your son.ReplyDelete
Here in the UK, the BBC has the original Swedish Wallander series on with subtitles. It's so great I wanted to buy my mom a boxed set for Xmas. Sadly you can't buy them in a dvd format compatible with US dvd players...arg! But, when they do- buy them!ReplyDelete
I like the idea of designing clothes in a way that minimises waste - but the bottom line is that the world doesn't need millions of new garments cranked out every year, many of which are thrown out while still perfectly wearable. Fashion is a wasteful industry.ReplyDelete
There is a woman on the radio here recently who is consulting with the fashion industry about minimising waste through better cutting techniques and use of recycled fabrics. Unfortunately I was in the middle of writing a report, so missed her name. Much as I love Branagh, I hate US remakes of Scandavian drama. The original with subtitles is really great. In fact, the best thing about Swedish film and television is that the women look real. They have wrinkles, some of them have bumps in the wrong places.ReplyDelete
Oops this is long post!!
I like the black and red one, very cool refashion Antoinette!!ReplyDelete
love it - zero waste is where we all need to go. I think the productions are of course wonderful and make me want to jump on my machine and start scrap sewing. I made a pair of clown pants when I was in my teens from all scraps - they are famous in my family as my brother wore them to a rave and had such amazing feedback. Too short in the crotch but he didn't care! Total zero waste and I still have them but then I AM a hoarder!ReplyDelete
Great refashions and with a good conscience too! Well done for getting so much done with all your other responsibilities.ReplyDelete
the black and red shirt is so cute! it reminds me of something from the gap maybe? nice work!ReplyDelete
Into zero waste here too. I've improved my cutting and layout technique to minimise waste - and have started making rag rugs like my Nana used to, to use up the last little itty bitty bits. Look up Depression era crafts and you'll find lots of ways to use up any and all scrap.ReplyDelete
I also have a huge crush on KB and love of all things Scandanavian, so now I will add Wallander (both the original and remake) to my must-watch list. :)ReplyDelete
hmm... not a hoarder but messy. i think i will say that applies to me too. :PReplyDelete
i know what you mean about not wanting to waste anything. i have tonnes of scrap papers and other things from packaging that i look at and think: i could make something out of that! the problem is i don't have a very good organization system so it does look crazy messy. now if only i could get myself organized and stop procrastinating....
i love the totes btw! very creative solutions for your son's shirts as well. :)
awesome! you're the queen of stash saving-and-busting, like some kind of stash superhero. Love the bags (the khaki one looks so utilitarian!) and am glad that you have people that will snatch up your totes (I think my sister probably would, if I made them cute enough, but truth told she doesn't actually need any more bags).ReplyDelete
I haven't been watching wallander, but I remember thinking KB was super hot in Much Ado when I watched it as a teen.
Hi there! Thanks for the offer-- I'm considering whether to take you up on it. My hesitation at the moment is that I'm not entirely sure how much yardage I'll actually need, since the pattern is for a full-length dress and I'm planning on making it shorter. And I don't want to purchase more fabric than I actually need, since I don't like having excess sitting around either. So I need to muslin it first, and may not get to that until the new year, which may be too late to order the fabric. (The plan is to get it done by mid-April so I can wear it to the next wedding I need to attend, which is an evening one and therefore more formal. So I'm giving myself plenty of time, given my overall complete lack of success in wedding attire thus far.)ReplyDelete
I thought I'd commented on this post before, but apparently I didn't. So well-said, and I agree with so much of what you said. Where I have trouble is the smaller scraps that are too large to toss, but too small to make something else out of. Or just really oddly shaped. That, and muslins, which I'm finding necessary in my more recent quest to improve my fitting skills. But I have an idea to use some of that up once its intended purpose is done, at least....we'll see how it goes down.
I too save a lot of old clothes etc. because they might come in useful someday. In my case I can't tell if it is hoarding or conserving.ReplyDelete
I used your fabulous "Men's Dress Shirt Refashion Tutorial!", if you want to take a look is here
Got to add another vote for the Swedish 'Wallander' films with Krister Henriksson. Unpatriotic as it may be, I can't stand the British version having seen the Swedish ones! Kenneth's just all wrong - and so is everyone else, probably the character Linda most of all. Try the Swedish films - there are two long series of them. Plus you can pick up a bit of the language; I swear in Swedish these days!ReplyDelete